Helping internal finance teams talk the language of their stakeholders
ebay is the world’s leading online auction marketplace. Faced with continued expansion of operations around the globe, eBay has had to constantly transform its operating model to respond to the changing internal and external landscapes.
The finance team at ebay in Switzerland were already fabulous at collating and preparing all of the relevant monthly and ad hoc reporting packs. Just one issue… there were communication barriers with their stakeholders. Catseye were asked to help address this and bring about clearer communication of complex topics.
The apparent fix was easy – train finance people to communicate key messages more clearly. But if it were that simple, it would have happened a long time ago.
A short stakeholder analysis demonstrated that not all the stakeholders were as bought into the change as others so the business and individuals created their own POC (Purpose, Outcomes & Commitment) profiles to delve a little deeper.
The ensuing dialogue helped people recognise the benefits of change and so become more aligned in their goals. Then a workshop, incorporating simulations, was devised and run so the team members could practise and hone their more user-friendly messages. Feedback came from peers, leaders, and professional role-players.
Senior finance stakeholders noted the positive change in their interactions with the finance teams and cited better communication of key messages as leading to better decision making on their part. People who attended the training said it resulted in:
greater confidence and competence in delivering important information, leading to more frequent and enjoyable interactions with key business stakeholders
a clearer understanding of the strategic and operational interpretations of financial date
an increase in pride and quality of work. Where team leads had previously often been called back to explain the work of team members, incidences of this were greatly reduced, increasing empowerment within more junior levels and freeing up manager time to engage in more strategic activities